Every Day is Hug Your Cat Day!

Well, I’m on roll. I seem to be the resident ‘theme-day’ specialist here at the PHC blog. Although my formal training is in emergency medicine, through the magic of the internet I am now a specialist in pet-oriented theme days. (As an example, check out “World Veterinary Day” and “Thumbs Up for This Pet Anatomy Fact” ). I have no problem with this – I find writing about Narwhal Awareness Day and Llend a Llama a lLavender Llampadephore Day far more satisfying than treating trauma or dealing with various and sundry other depressing diseases.

The latest installment in our ever-growing list of pet-themed special days is…(wait for it!)…Hug Your Cat Day!

Now, I am totally supportive of cats.  I love them, and my job as a veterinarian depends on a steady supply of them. There are so many reasons that cats are great and deserving of their own very special day: they look cool, they act cool, they offer up compassion and companionship when you are blue, so I can’t really oppose this day. But, much like the old stock answer given by grandmothers everywhere when asked when “Grandma’s Day” is – every day is cat day. So to give them only one day – June 4th – I think is to minimize all the fun, love and closeness that cats bring to our lives, not to mention the hairballs stepped in at 2 a.m. and scratches on the couch.

The other thing that seems slightly off about NHYCD is the hugging part. I am starting to think that this day was actually conceived and executed by dogs in order to torment the cats.  How many cats do you know that are huggers?  They love to lie in your lap, bump up against you in that unique feline way, slink between your feet as you cook dinner (perhaps in the hope that a tasty morsel of fish will makes its way to the floor), but hugging? Not generally in the feline repertoire.

Most of the cats that I have seen successfully hugged have been by people under 3. It’s almost like the cats know that there is nothing cuter than a pigtailed little kid holding a cat around the waist in their chubby arms, while the cat’s legs stick out all catty-wampus and their eyes go slightly buggy.  But, given their keen senses, cats can detect when someone over the age of 3 tries to hug them, and they instantly turn into a whirling mass of claws as they struggle to get out of my clammy and clumsy attempts at affection and go hide under the bed.

Cats have been treated as gods by several cultures for millennia, so I think it really marginalizes them to relegate their worship to one tiny day out of the year. I think this is more evidence for a canine conspiracy. I can picture the dogs, sitting around the poker table, plotting and planning…

Dog #1 (Boxer): We need to do something about these darn cats! They are taking over the world and I want it to stop!

Dog #2 (Collie): Agreed, my furry friend. I suggest we chase them and perhaps employ the services of my close associate, one Wile E. Coyote, to perhaps chase them all off a cliff. Who is their current leader? Is it the dreaded Felix? The loathsome Fritz?

Dog #3 (Bulldog, the leader): I believe it is that rapscallion, Sylvester. Gentlemen, we shall never best the feline through wits or deception – their minds are far too nimble and we are mere mental midgets when compared to them. Witness our proclivity for drinking out of the commode. We must use deception and trickeration if we are to win this war of fur. I ask you – what is a cat’s most prized possession?

Dog #1: Dead birds?

Dog #2: Catnip?

Dog #4 (Mastiff): Fish skeletons?

Dog #3: I rest my case, my inept companions. No, it is neither dead birds, fish skeletons nor catnip. It is their self-image. This is what ingratiates them to the human and makes them sit at the hearth instead of us. They feel they deserve it, and they convince people of it as well. We must strike them at their very core – we must contrive a way to knock them down a peg and make them feel very un-special. Very un-special, indeed. Any ideas?

Dog #4: Pee on them?

Dog #3: That’s your answer to everything, Flearoy. Anyone else?

Dog #2: Pee on them?

Dog #3. Very well, then. Since we have no better ideas, I shall enact emergency action plan # 27-b/6, developed at that last Canine Intercontinental Congress, right before the big fight broke out. In this plan, the cats will have only one very special day. The other 364 days of the year, they will be just normal domestic mammals, like us and the llamas. I see no way in which this can’t work.

Dog #2: I have an idea! (dancing and peeing a little)

Dog #3: I am fairly certain I shall regret this, but…what is it?

Dog #2: What do cats hate?

Dog #1: Water?

Dog #4: Narwhals?

Dog #2: No – they hate…hugs.

Dog #3: I never thought I’d say this, Porkchop, but you are a genius! Spot on! From now on June 4th shall be forever known as National Hug Your Cat Day. It shall be the ONLY day that cats are truly special, and the humans will spend the whole day doing things to them that the cats hate! Brilliant, my friends, simply brilliant! Meeting adjourned!

Dog #2: I have to pee.

So there you have it. That may not be exactly the way it went down, but I am pretty sure it was something like that. (Perhaps they were playing canasta instead of poker).

So, make sure you give your cat a big-old bear hug – as long as you are under 3. If you are over 3, I suggest you just give them some catnip, and scratch them in that sweet spot behind the ears.

-Photo Credit: From flickr by Nina_Pic

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